Transgender Man Sues Catholic Hospital for Rejecting His Surgery

He wants to prevent other transgender patients from having his experience

A transgender man is suing a Catholic hospital in New Jersey after he says it refused to allow his hysterectomy on religious grounds.

Jionni Conforti’s doctors concluded that a hysterectomy was medically necessary for him, so he found a surgeon and scheduled the procedure at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson in 2015. He didn’t expect any problems —until a hospital administrator told him they could not allow his surgery because it was a “Catholic hospital,” he alleges in the federal lawsuit.

“Being humiliated and rejected by a hospital because of who you are as a person is not okay,” Conforti, 33, told TIME.

St. Joseph’s allegedly denied Conforti’s surgery despite having a “patient’s bill of rights” that guarantees medical service without discrimination based on categories including “gender identity or expression.” The hospital did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

While Conforti found another hospital to perform his hysterectomy three months later, he said he felt betrayed and became depressed after St. Joseph’s denied his surgery. He pointed to the high rate of suicide among transgender people, saying that an experience like his can make transitioning even harder.

“My goal is to make a change for the up and coming trans people so they never have to go through this,” he said.

Conforti, who is represented by Lambda Legal, is seeking monetary damages and to require the hospital to perform any needed medical care for transgender patients.

Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team